Merck Granted Preliminary Injunction In India — Against Aprica — To Prevent A Second Generic Sitagliptin Market Entry

While we wait for the July 15 “on the merits” hearing in India — related to the Glenmark v. Merck case (also involving a generic version of sitagliptin, now being sold in India), we learn that the Delhi High Court has granted Merck the same interim relief — against Aprica Pharma — that it was denied, against Glenmark, back in April.

The difference in preliminary outcomes here is likely related to the fact that Glenmark is making a salt of sitagliptin which Merck declined to patent in India. I have seen no detailed analysis of the Aprica case yet, but I am guessing — and so, cannot verify — that Aprica simply directly copied the patented version of Januvia® which is on market in India, and thus got bounced. Recall that Glenmark was able to show — at this stage — that Merck had long ago abandoned its Indian patent application on the salt of sitagliptin, sitagliptin phosphate, which is what Glenmark is now steadily selling, there.

Here is a bit of the Reuters reporting, this morning — do go read it all:

. . . .A source with direct knowledge of the matter, declining to be identified, confirmed that the injunction by the Delhi High Court covered the two diabetes drugs.

Merck sued another Indian company, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, over the two brands in April, saying Glenmark had directly infringed MSD’s intellectual property. The same court is due to hear that case on July 15, 2013. . . .

We will keep you informed, as July 15 looms large for Whitehouse Station.

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